Motion Capture is a technology that allows users to record their movements and convert them into digital data.
This technology has been used in movies such as Avatar, The Fifth Element, Tron Legacy, and even in adult entertainment videos (we are talking about porn).
But what exactly is motion capture? Motion Capture is a form of computer animation.
In order to animate something, you need to first record its movement.
If you want to animate someone chupando buceta (cunnilingus, just sounds funnier in Portuguese from Brazil), you can have someone animate it with motion capture.
Although you can do it without having to use motion capture.
Still confused? Well, let us help with that.
Keep reading to understand better what motion capture is and what it can be used for.
How does motion capture work?
A camera records the position of objects and converts these positions into digital data.
This data is then converted into code that tells computers how to move things around a virtual environment.
Motion Capture is done through markers placed on various parts of the body.
These markers send signals when they are moved. When the user moves his/her body, the marker sends out a signal.
Then, software programs can read the information sent by the markers and translate it into data that can be used to control a character in a virtual environment.
Why Use Motion Capture?
Because humans move differently than robots, computers need to learn how we walk, run, jump, fall and twist our bodies before they can accurately replicate those actions.
Using motion capture, animators can now animate characters in real-time, rather than relying solely on pre-recorded footage.
Furthermore, since motion capture records the positions of specific points on the human body, animators can easily recreate injuries, deformities, or changes in posture.
Using motion capture, animators are no longer limited to creating characters based on stock figures.
They can now design unique characters that look just like the actors who play them.
For example, an animator can place markers on the face of a character and use the resulting data to create a realistic facial expression.
In addition, motion capture allows animators to simulate things such as hair movement and clothing texture.
As a result, movies produced today often feature highly detailed characters whose appearance closely resembles that of the actor who plays them.
Who Uses Motion Capture?
Game development is the largest market for motion capture.
With games drawing as much revenue as movies, it is easy to see why game development often calls for enormous quantities of motion capture.
The immense competition to produce the ‘coolest game possible’ (thus becoming a top-seller – hopefully) means that greater production capabilities mean higher quality.
More time is left for aesthetic finishing touches and fine-tuning of gameplay.
Generally, there are two main types of 3D character animation used in games: Real-time playback vs. cinematics.
Real-time allows the game player to choose from pre-created moves, thus controlling the character’s moves in real-time.
Cinematics are the fully rendered ‘movies’ used for intros and ‘cut-scenes’.
Often the last part of game production, or a process that is sub-contracted to a separate studio, cinematics are generally not essential to gameplay but do add a lot of appeal to the game, and help immensely with story development and mood generation.
Video and television
Live TV broadcasts are increasingly using real-time motion graphics.
Motion capture can be applied to create virtual characters within a real scene, to place live actors within an existing virtual scene with virtual actors already present, or to place virtual characters within a virtual environment with virtual actors already present.
For real-time broadcast motion capture, you need to create mock-ups of any unusual anatomy (big bellies, tails, etc.) so that performers’ movements don’t cause their characters’ limbs to intersect.
Limiting joint movement helps maintain the believability and authenticity of the character.
Real-time adaptation features such as MotionBuilder’s “real-time” motion mapping (from the performers’ skeletons to a different proportioned characters’ skeletons) are essential when the character’s proportions differ greatly from the actors’.
To create an immersive experience, the real and virtual cameras need to be aligned so they look similar. Otherwise, the illusion will look weird.
The Gypsy is an excellent choice for real-time broadcast animations because it is so easy to move around, quick to set up, and simple to operate, and it works well almost anywhere.
Using the PhaseSpace optical motion capturing system, combined with Motion Builder, allows us to create daily 3D animations for television shows, keeping them fresh and exciting and giving audiences yet another reason not to “touch that dial.”
Post-Production for Ongoing Series
For ongoing series, motion capture is becoming increasingly popular.
If you’re going to create a weekly TV series without using motion capture, it inevitably leads to shows being late or production studios going bankrupt.
A well-organized motion capture pipeline is crucial for the success of an ongoing animation-based series.
Motion capture has become increasingly popular in filmmaking.
To create realistic characters that move naturally in situations where they’d be impractical or too dangerous to act out, motion capture technology is used.
Motion capture technology was also used extensively in the movie Titanic to create ‘filler’ characters and scenes where the virtual camera would be flying over a virtual ship.
Most of these images could not be done with real cameras and a live ship, or real models; therefore, virtual models, actors, cameras, and post-production techniques were used.
If they don’t need to be animated using motion capture, then their animations seem unrealistic.
As more and more independent companies start putting together their own film crews, the idea of having two or three people create an entire feature film is not that far away.
The Gypsy is perfect for both smaller and larger stores.
With motion capture animation, you can create high-quality animations quickly and cheaply, without having to schedule expensive motion capture sessions in an art studio.